I don’t think I am breaking new ground to you all by saying that my telco; the “Big T” is doing some very, very strange things to my communication connections bill these last few months … from exactly December 2016, to be precise, when our usage account suddenly almost doubled and our monthly bill soars to $5oo+ and hasn’t gone down.
Our usage habits haven’t changed from before that time; we still have days when we are not even home to use the internet, and this past month my own computer was away being repaired and so I was off-line at my desk for over a week. But no difference to the bill and I am the most prolific user of the internet in our house.
Now here’s where the “strange things” come into play …
I will start at the beginning of our internet woes. Go back a couple of years, and we were on the wireless network, our modem then was one of those big “Gateway” things with the three aerials on the back and it served us well for quite a while. Then one day it suddenly stopped working … the weather was hot and we concluded (with a Telstra tech’s agreement) that it was cactus … broken.
“That’s alright” the Philippine’s call centre person assured, “we will send you a new up-dated device that will improve your reception.” I presumed it was going to be another wireless modem and I must add I was given no advice it would be otherwise. And so we received in the mail a new “Advance 4G” (mobile broadband) modem.
I still thought we were on wireless when we used that advanced 4G. Why would I think otherwise? I’m no tech-head … I had no information it was otherwise from Telstra. There was nothing on the box says otherwise, and if there was some writing somewhere then it must be so small print, which my old eyes would have mistaken it for a smudge of dirt!
And it wasn’t until the reception got so much worse, us being in a mobile black-spot, I started to go to forums like “Whirlpool” and others to find out about the problem. It was on one of these forums that I read that the Advance 4G was so correctly described as no more than “a shit mobile phone with a shittier screen!” … and some went on further to describe how they got better reception hooking their Samsung smartphone up to their laptop as a modem instead and using the Advance 4G sim-card – until Telstra found out and threatened to block the service.
You see, out here in the regions – in the country – mobile reception is shocking/terrible/hopeless and up till now the only option has been Telstra.
Anyway, one day at a local govt’ meeting where two young “blades”, one from the NBN and the other from Telstra who spoke at a “information and update” meeting where I learned that the wireless network had been withdrawn from the more outlying regions (ours!) to be concentrated into the larger regional towns with a NBN fixed wireless tower to service the town. Sooo … THAT explained the broken Gateway modem and the Telstra offer of the Advanced 4G mobile broadband … a more unstable device I have yet to use.
The upshot was that we here in the more sparsely populated areas were unceremoniously dumped off the wireless network in a plan conjured up between the Turnbull government and Telstra to throw us upon the mercy of Telstra’s mobile broadband network. The shit had just begun!
Back then we had a plan of 4gigs data – strangely that now was never enough – so we were moved up to a 8gig plan and it was not long after that when the “extra data usage” started to go through the roof! And from December last year it almost doubled … and so did our bills to a point where it is now make or break time on what we can do.
I have made innumerable calls to Telstra over this extra data usage because I just cannot work out where it is going to. Is it being “piggy-backed” from our WiFi? Is it a data mistake at Telstra? Is there a continual upgrade of Windows 10 going on? All these were looked into, without the least help from Telstra except to give a little moral support and to suggest new plans. Well we tried those. Plan after plan to culminate in a new mobile modem; the best thing since sliced bread that can deliver up to 5G broadband: the Netgear “Nighthawk 5G modem” … except it did not work out here in a black-spot area.
We (Telstra tech dept) tried everything but to no avail. It was just a useless bit of high-class tech shit … it might just as well been a turd … it was useless, so we arranged to send it back, along with the new plan (and I will spare your patience the complexities of THAT fiasco!) and now we are STILL waiting to receive yet another new plan with a new sim-card for the old Advance 4G along with a postage return bag so we can return the “Nighthawk 5G” modem.
(I’ll tell you one strange thing I have “discovered”: my partner’s iPhone and a Samsung tablet “gifted” to us by Telstra before last Christmas as a “token of our appreciation of your loyalty” – which as an aside we are now being charged a plan, for which both devices have one plan each – YET, I can see that one of them, perhaps both, regardless of their own data allowance, appear to be “piggy-backing off the WiFi hotspot” (yes, I am learning the jargon) created by the Advance 4G home mobile broadband modem. Perhaps because of the mobile phone reception being so bad here).
We have been waiting for about three weeks and we have now got this month’s bill – again over $500 – with 13gigs of “extra data” usage. I rang Telstra … I was given a little moral support and was told the person there on the end of the line “would speak to my supervisor. ” And THAT is where it sits.
NB: I did go to forums again just now to find out about this extra data usage stuff – and I see there is a legion of customers – even on Telstra’s own “crowd support forum” that are having the same problem: extra data usage gone somewhere but God knows where! I don’t. Those other customers don’t. Even Telstra doesn’t seem to know. And I believe the Telstra management think it’s all our fault!
So hands up all you other bloggers out there who are having similar problems with this fantastic example of privatisation in action?
That useless Turnbull/ LNP … they betrayed us all.
(I can’t even get on the internet as I am writing this!)
This article was originally published on freefall852.wordpress.com.